The Leader of the Official Opposition and Interim Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, Rona Ambrose, issued the following statement to mark the celebration of the of Diwali and Bandi Chhor Divas. “Today marks one of the most important holidays of the year for Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, and Buddhists across Canada and around the world – Diwali or Deepavali, the Festival of Lights, and Bandi Chhor Divas. It is a time to celebrate the victory of good over evil, and the uplifting of spiritual darkness. “These ancient festivals are traditionally observed by lighting small oil lamps called diyas, and the sharing of traditional meals with family. As homes and public places are decorated, the lighting of diyas symbolizes light over darkness and is a reaffirmation of hope and a shared commitment to friendship. These occasions are also a time to be thankful for the prosperity and health of the past year, and to pray for the renewal of wealth in the year ahead. “As Canadians of all faiths and cultures come together to take part in these festive celebrations, it provides an opportunity to recognize the rich heritage and vast contributions of the south Asian community in Canada. “On behalf of our caucus and the Conservative Party of Canada, I want to take this opportunity to offer my best wishes for a happy and healthy Diwali, and Bandi Chhor Divas.”